Sweetwater Reservoir & SD National Wildlife Refuge
Plenty of trails to explore in South County on land managed by the County of San Diego and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Travel through Bonita Valley to the Sweetwater Summit Regional Park and eastward into the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. Riders can start by the 805 staging area in Bonita and head eastward all the way to Rancho San Diego and beyond - all on the dirt! Bonita Valley is perfect for a family cruise as it is flat around the golf courses or extends your adventure east to try the challenge of the climb up to Rock House, also known as Mother Miguel.
Hikers, cyclists, and equestrians can enjoy miles of multi-use trails that meander through the area including open grasslands, along streamside vegetation boasting spectacular views of the reservoir, and into chunky rock canyons.
Support restoration efforts by following the signs and staying on designated paths. The park and refuge areas are open daily from sunrise to sunset. Always allow at least 48 hours after the last rainfall for trails to dry before heading out for your ride. Always practice trail courtesy - Share and Be Aware.
The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge is not just a place for wildlife, but a refuge for the city-dwelling neighbors who surround it. Established in 1996 and stretching over 12,300 acres from the city of Jamul to communities in Spring Valley and eastern Chula Vista, the refuge is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s contribution to the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP), a landscape-wide habitat conservation plan to preserve habitat and species while allowing appropriate development.
- Primary Trail Type: Cross-Country
- E-Bikes Allowed: YES on USFW Refuge Land & Most County Managed Trails
- Suggested Route: Sweetwater Reservori 20 mile Loop - 20 miles, 2841 feet of elevation gain
- Suggested Route: Bonita Valley to Tiki Hut Loop - 12 miles, 1005 feet of elevation gain
- Land Status: Regional Recreation Area
- Land Manager: Various
- Sweetwater Reservoir Webpage
- San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Webpage